REVIEW OF ANDREW RANDALL,
(The Essentials of Christian Discipleship)
Banner of Truth Trust; 231 pp.
For the first ten years after graduation from college I worked with students in California, Indiana and Georgia. After seminary I worked with laymen for 31 years in the local pastorate. At all times I was seeking to disciple men. I had small group studies and early morning study groups for men before they went to work. What do I mean by using that word, disciple? Well a disciple in the New Testament was a follower and learner of Jesus. Our Lord, like John the Baptist, had men who followed Him and learned from Him. His final word of teaching in Matthew 28:19-20 was a commission given to the disciples (and the churches they would help found) to go into all the world and make disciples (followers and learners of Jesus). These disciples were to preach the gospel, baptize the converts who were to identity with and follow Jesus, and teach them all things whatsoever Christ had taught them. Wow, that is a big order! This portion of the New Testament has come to be called “the Great Commission”. Our Lord would then go on to tell these twelve disciples that they were to wait until they were clothed with power from on high. Once the Holy Spirit had been poured out, the movement to fulfill
the Great Commission had begun.
This book by pastor Andrew Randall from Scotland is a primer on following Jesus as a faithful disciple. And it is a primer on making disciples. Pastor Randall is no hot-house plant. He has lived and worked as a layman for several years before entering the Christian ministry studying law at university and practicing as a lawyer. God called him into the gospel ministry to be a pastor. Pastors are shepherds whose job it is to nurture and protect the flock. Where is good food for the sheep? Where is clean water for the sheep? Pastor Randall as a faithful pastor/shepherd is making disciples as every good pastor should. What kinds of things does a young or new or “needing a refresher” disciple need? This book fits the bill. Here's the Table of Contents:
1. FOLLOWING JESUS AT HIS CALL—The Essential of Faith--Mark 1:14-21
2. FOLLOWING JESUS BY THE BOOK—The Essentials of the Bible—2nd Timothy 3:10—4:5
3. FOLLOWING JESUS IN COMMUNITY—The Essentials of Church—Ephesians 2:11-22
4. FOLLOWING JESUS IN CONVERSATION—The Essentials of Prayer—Philippians 4:6
5. FOLLOWING JESUS BY HIS POWER—The Essentials of the Holy Spirit—John 16:1-15
6. FOLLOWING JESUS IN EVERYTHING—The Essentials of Holiness—1st Peter 1:13-25
7. FOLLOWING JESUS MORE AND MORE—The Essentials of Growth—Ephesians 4:11-24
8. FOLLOWING JESUS IN OUR CHOICES—The Essentials of Guidance—1st Thessalonians
5:16-22 and Romans 12:1-3
9. FOLLOWING JESUS IN OUR LOVE FOR OTHERS—The Essentials of Relationships-- 1st Corinthians 6:9—7:5
10. FOLLOWING JESUS THROUGH THE GENERATIONS—The Essentials of Parenting Ephesians 6:1-4
11. FOLLOWING JESUS IN HIS WORLD—The Essentials of Evangelism—1st Cor. 9:12-23
12. FOLLOWING JESUS EVERY DAY—The Essentials of Work—Ephesians 6:5-9
13. FOLLOWING JESUS WITH ALL WE HAVE—The Essentials of Stewardship—1st Tim. 6:6-19
14. FOLLOWING JESUS WHEN IT HURTS—The Essentials of Suffering—1st Peter 1:3-12
15. FOLLOWING JESUS ALWAYS—The Essentials of Perseverance—Romans 8:28-39 and 2nd Peter 1:1-15
APPENDIX 1—Marriage—What’s Faith Got to Do With It?
APPENDIX 2—Suffering—Where is God When It Hurts?
APPENDIX 3—Recommendations for further reading
If I were leading a group of men or just one man, I would take him through this great primer. I would take probably two weeks per chapter to make sure the material stuck. And I would thank God that such a good tool was available.
31 years a pastor in Atlanta;
10 years a parachurch worker in California, Indiana &
Dean of Students; IRBS THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY